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A little less than a happy high
Divine wind
I’m having trouble breathing today. I first noticed when I was in the process of getting my shoes on, so at first I thought that it might have something to do with my well developed Buddha belly nature. I was all ready to accept my struggle with shoes as yet more evidence that I need to get back to a more intensive exercise regimen, but then I left the house and started walking. By the end of my street I realized that I was moving SLOWLY, and as I started up the hill to cross from the Mystic watershed to that of the Charles, it felt like someone had wrapped rubber bands around my chest. I was working against my own body in order to get it enough oxygen to keep functioning. Deep breaths hurt.

I don’t like not being able to breathe. There’s a panicky desperation that comes with every breath. The lizard-mind that lurks at the base of my skull is making the system work. I can feel it. Sweet, cool, life-giving air sweeps in through my lips and past my teeth, but for some reason, it’s given nowhere to go. There’s a brief draught, followed by the blow of the waste gasses from my system (How can there be so much more?), and then it begins again. The system is working! I can feel the steady rhythm of the muscles in my chest. Why won’t you draw oxygen in?

So this morning was one of those rare occasions that I fumbled with the front pocket of my messenger bag until I found the Ventolin inhaler I keep there for emergencies. Stop. Stand straight. Take a few deep breaths as best I can and then blow everything out. Draw again, this time with a squeeze on the inhaler. I suck in the bitter, metallic medicine. Breathe out, trying to avoid twisting my face in disgust at the taste of the spent dose.

Rinse. Repeat. The second hit tastes worse, probably because I’m able to breathe more of it in.

Better now. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Current Mood: relieved relieved

10 comments or Leave a comment
From: ex_hesperia313 Date: October 11th, 2002 09:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I'm assuming this is primarily asthma trouble? It sounds pretty severe, but I highly recommend oil of oregano, which you can get at whole foods or a homeopathic pharmacy. I have/had asthma all through my teen's and twenties and it was not getting better (I don't believe doctors when they tell you that you have to 'live with' something... $$$). As a student I had no insurance so I did some research and Voila! found that oil of oregano is gret for keeping the lungs clear. And how! It has worked wonderfully for me. I have one inhaler I keep on hand for super emergencies (haven't used it in a year) and I take the oil of oregano 1x per day when my lungs are feeling crappy (all Autumn for me) or after a night in a smokey bar of club. I reccommend the actual liquid version, not pills. If its something you're interseted in talk with one of the helpers at Whole Foods and see what else they reccommend. Just a thought. Hope you are feeling better! That chest tightness is the worst, you feel like you are going to be crushed, or drowned... yuck.
shutupbetsy From: shutupbetsy Date: October 11th, 2002 09:59 am (UTC) (Link)
Oh Asthma. Oh woe is me. I have had super awful asthma my whole life ("what would you take with you to a desert island?" My inhaler) I need to check out oil of oregano, Jill, I've never heard that before! I do like the medicinal "breathe easy" tea, though. That seems to work when nothing else will. I think I have a Pavlovian response to abuterol and I actually like the taste because it = breathing.
WHICH shoes, again, mister? :)
komos From: komos Date: October 11th, 2002 11:12 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't know if I'll ever get used to the taste of the inhaler. I breathe out after using it and wonder how something that tastes so inorganic can possibly help me get my system back in order. I feel like I'm sucking on rack of staples.

You got me. Today, I'm cruising around in a pair of cross-trainers. Practicality won out. ::shrug::
komos From: komos Date: October 11th, 2002 11:08 am (UTC) (Link)


Yeah, asthma is the culprit. My attacks are intermittent at best, though, and I think that's one of the reasons why I get so freaked out. Because it's not something I've had to live with regularly, it surprises me every time it happens. And thanks, I am feeling much better. Even did the circuit around the parks at lunch.

I will look into the oil (I dig herbal remedies), and will continue the slow march back into shape. With any luck, I can find my way back into the white crane school soon, too. Don't know why it is, but when I'm doing chi gung regularly, I tend to avoid the worst things my body will throw at me regularly.
wisdom_seeker From: wisdom_seeker Date: October 11th, 2002 04:28 pm (UTC) (Link)


First: I'm glad you had your inhaler with you, too!
Second: I'm really glad you are walking regularly. If I learned anything from getting back into shape after having been in such crappy shape through college, it was that the better shape I'm in, the less I have problems with my athsma. (Which probably means I really shouldn't be skipping gym-time so often...)
komos From: komos Date: October 15th, 2002 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Exercise=Good

I just don't like the fact that I remember what it was like being (relatively) fit. I didn't have to think about asthma at all, and I felt a lot more mobile. I try to joke about having re-created my own body as a superb resistance-training device, but the truth of the matter is that it's just harder to move. :P
shutupbetsy From: shutupbetsy Date: October 11th, 2002 10:01 am (UTC) (Link)
Not to mention, if you've just got occasional asthma, good for you for carrying an inhaler. My exroommate had a lot of emergencies, and used primatine mist, which causes heart attacks in preteen models et al.
komos From: komos Date: October 11th, 2002 11:19 am (UTC) (Link)
Heh. My previous PCP refused to believe that I wasn't a smoker. He was kind of a boob.

When I got the diagnosis, I took it seriously. This was in part because I do get so freaked out when I can't breathe, and in part because I was old enough to recognize that it was serious. It's one of the reasons why my bag is rarely very far from me.
hieeee From: hieeee Date: October 13th, 2002 07:43 am (UTC) (Link)

:: frowns ::

Ack. I do hope you're feeling better. My baby was born with severe asthma and spent her first two months of life in the hospital - followed by brining an oxygen tent home with us to take care of her here. It was hard . . . and she's 11 now - and still having her problems. Sometimes we end up in the bathroom with the shower full-steam ahead hot water steaming up the place for an hour before she can breathe. :( I hope you keep up with the walking - that sounds crazy, me telling you to do something that put you in distress. But in the long run, it helps. Be good to yourself! You're one of the few people I love to "talk" to!
komos From: komos Date: October 15th, 2002 06:54 am (UTC) (Link)


I am. Much, in fact. My bouts are not nearly as severe as your daughter's (all I can say is wow... I hope she's well), and pretty sporadic. For me, an attack like this usually means a rough day followed by a long period of remission.

And I will do. Honestly, I've not been really good about taking care of myself over the past couple of years, but I think that's changing. Yes, I am being weirdly optimistic here. It happens.

::hug:: Thanks.
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